Bulk handling system cuts dust, improves accuracy at graphite plant
Asbury Graphite & Carbons is one of the largest global processors of graphite and other carbon materials used in the plastics, automotive, lubrication, powder metallurgy, petroleum and coatings industries. Its European installation in the Netherlands opened in 2014 to take in raw graphite from around the world, reduce it into fine particles through a variety of milling and screening processes and fill 2,200 lb bulk bags and smaller bags, based on customer needs.
The plant operators had experienced problems with inaccurate fill weights of milled graphite, as well as issues with dust control. The bulk bag filler frames operated with a poorly designed bag spout seal that wasn’t reliable. “Very often, the seal inflated incorrectly or wasn’t strong enough or exploded,” Stassen said. As a result, dust and fine particles escaped, putting the plant’s compliance with Dutch health and safety guidelines at risk. Spills were also occurring with the original bulk bag dischargers. “We had to do something else,” Stassen said.
On the recommendation of Dutch distributor Matec Techniek, the company turned to Flexicon (Europe) Ltd., which specializes in bulk bag filling and discharging systems. “We tried one bulk bag filling station, and that reduced our dust big time,” Stassen said. “So we chose to go forward with Flexicon for all 11 stations, followed over the years by nine bulk bag dischargers and numerous flexible screw conveyors. They reduced dust tremendously in the plant.”